The Words of the Biermans Family
John Biermans and his spiritual daughter Christine Grody in June 1983.
John Biermans has been a church member for 6 ½ years, and currently has a total of 30 spiritual children. His mission is with the Church's Legal Department.
This is a subject I am somewhat reluctant to write about because the true source of understanding is our True Father. His words of guidance, particularly in his speech on witnessing to the state leaders on April 1, 1977, have continually inspired me and helped me understand how we must witness our faith. Nevertheless, I believe that some of the insights and experiences I have had over the past 6 ½ years can be helpful.
When I first began witnessing, I was totally self-conscious and afraid. The very idea of going up to a total stranger and beginning a conversation made me feel completely insecure. I was intimidated. I was SCARED! What would this person think of me? You may have had a similar experience; you may still have this same experience when you witness now! But, as I discovered through experience, one need not be afraid. In fact, there are many reasons why we should have absolute confidence in speaking to anyone.
The first and most obvious reason is that each one of us is the representative of the True Parents, the Messiah -- not to mention Heavenly Father. And we have a message that every person has spiritually been yearning for throughout their lives. Perhaps this yearning for love and truth and true parents is buried deep beneath pain and much cynicism, but it is there within every person. If we have confidence about this, then we need never be afraid of speaking to anyone.
Besides this, there is one key point to remember in fighting this fear. Ask yourself: "Where is this fear coming from -- God or Satan? Who makes me feel self-conscious and insecure? And who am I really thinking about when I feel afraid to speak to someone -- Heavenly Father or me?"
This point was firmly implanted in my mind about 5 years ago. I had suddenly broken through in witnessing and had brought ten spiritual children over a period of six months. I asked my central figure why this had happened. She immediately replied, "You stopped thinking about yourself when you witness."
Her response surprised me, but as I thought about it, I knew she was right. I realized that what I had learned to do was completely focus on my goal of bringing a spiritual child to our center, and to completely set aside my worries about what the people thought of me.
One of the most significant experiences of my life and the one which, more than any other, led to this change in my witnessing attitude, was when I met a bright and joyful English sister named Judy. It was a beautiful, sunny May afternoon and I greatly enjoyed meeting her. However, I didn't expect her to come over because she seemed somewhat insincere, and not so spiritual.
Nevertheless, she came over for dinner, and when she heard Dr. Durst's Divine Principle lecture, she was quite reborn! Just a small taste of the Principle made her almost desperate to go to the workshop and find out if it was really possible to establish an ideal community. As I spoke to her, she confessed that she had been yearning to find a place like this all her life. She had always been idealistic but her ideals were quickly being destroyed by the reality of the world.
So she came to the workshop and, within a short time, decided to stay. Being with her as she first heard the Divine Principle was an experience I shall never forget. She became so elated by what she heard, and I found myself being caught up in her elation. When she heard the conclusion of the Principle, she began to weep and weep. Somehow she knew that this was what she had been waiting to hear all her life.
It all seemed too good to be true, and somehow it was. After one week, we received news from England that all of the media were filled with horror stories about how Judy had been abducted and was being held against her will by the "Moonies" and turned into a zombie.
At the same time. Father had just arrived in England and our Family was extremely concerned that this severe negativity could create serious problems for Father. I was told that Judy had to go back to England to prove that she was not being held against her will. She did not want to leave at all, nor did I want her to go.
My immediate reaction was one of shock and disapproval. I could not imagine sending such a pure and innocent person to the media wolves and deprogrammers. Nevertheless, I knew that Father's mission is central to the entire Providence and that I must sacrifice my own situation. As I thought and prayed about it, I could truly understand how God felt when He had to sacrifice His most precious son for the sake of mankind. When this thought struck my heart, I began to weep because I really felt she was my precious daughter.
I brought her to the airport and as I returned home, I couldn't stop crying -- something which is very unusual for me. I couldn't stop thinking and worrying about her. I told Heavenly Father that He had to send me three spiritual daughters to replace her.
Three days later, I received a call from England saying Judy had left the Church. To say I was sad is an understatement. I didn't know how to control my sadness and I could not be comforted. I only knew I must continue in my mission and in that comfort Heavenly Father.
So I continued to witness that week and suddenly miracles began to happen. Every night I had several guests, and they all seemed to want to go to the workshop! In fact, nine guests went during that week, and four of them joined the Family. Within two weeks, Heavenly Father had sent the three spiritual daughters I had asked for.
Overnight, my witnessing had become unbelievably successful. It seemed like almost every person I talked to was "chosen"! At first, I didn't know why but now I can see that somehow Heavenly Father and spirit world were moved by my commitment to Judy. Heavenly Father saw my tears for her and answered them.
And this is not the end of the story. About three weeks later, I received a call from England. It was Judy calling to say that she had just returned to the Church in England! She attended workshop again and was so deeply grateful to receive the Divine Principle. Then, to add even greater joy, within a few weeks, her sister Jane had joined the Church as well!
From this experience, I learned so much, especially about the spiritual requirements to bring spiritual children. It requires an absolute commitment to the life of each person we meet. As Father has said, when we bring a spiritual child, it requires greater effort than giving birth to our physical children. From my own experience, I could understand that in order to move the spiritual world to work through us, we must pay indemnity of heart -- and this comes from nothing less than living and dying for our child.
As you know, Father teaches that whenever anyone came to hear the Principle, he would never want them to leave, he loved them so much. This should always be our heart. And this is the level of commitment I was taught by Father's words and example, as well as by my central figures, Dr. and Mrs. Durst, and our many Church elders. Bringing spiritual children is never an independent effort. The key to moving the heart of a guest is the warm, loving spirit of our centers and our workshops.